The Definitive Ranking of Netflix's Alien Documentaries
Putting the "extra" in extraterrestrial.
Deep in the chasm of Netflix lies a subcategory for the inquisitive and likely stoned, titled “alien and UFO documentaries.” Government conspiracies, flying saucers, and crop circle mysteries abound in the few films hosted here.
While there isn’t a plethora of flicks here, the selection is satisfactory for those looking for real(ish) alien stories. Here’s our tailored ranking of the best UFO documentaries streamable on Netflix.
5. Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?
When Alien Autopsy came out in 1995, it was a smash hit. The documentary allegedly revealed military doctors performing a 1947 autopsy on the pot-bellied body of an alien. In the United States, the film was aired on Fox, pulling in an audience of 11.7 million to just one screening. Today, however, the documentary is recognized universally as a hoax — its producer, Ray Santilli, revealed in 2006 that the autopsy was completely faked. But you can still just enjoy this bizarre film on Netflix as a pseudo-thriller and relic of the alien paranoia of the 1990s. Take a drink every time you hear “real footage.”
4. Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs
This 2016 documentary follows Christo Roppolo, a man who says he has consistently seen UFOs since he was eight years old. Now 57, he claims to have years of footage of these sightings despite the fact that society thinks he’s “fucking crazy because I believe in fucking something everybody says is bullshit.” Made by cinematographer Justin Gaar, who told Motherboard that he’s still a skeptic when it comes to UFOS, the film leaves it to the viewer to decide whether or not Roppolo is a reliable witness, a troubled man, or somewhere in between.
3. A Field Full of Secrets
In the 2014 film A Field Full of Secrets, crop circles are either elaborate pranks or the blueprints to alien spaceships. The film focuses on crop circles allegedly found in the English countryside, an idyllic setting where director Charles Maxwell grew up. When the film isn’t showing gorgeous overhead shots of the fields, it’s focusing on the work of engineer-types that are creating models of spacecrafts based off the designs found in the fields.
2. Australien Skies
The 2015 film directed by Don Meers is exactly what its pun of a title implies: This is a documentary on aliens and Australia. More specifically, it focuses on Australians who believe they’ve witnessed UFO sightings. The central protagonist is Damien Nott, a man who says he has seen “literally hundreds” of strange objects in the sky, ranging in size from a tennis ball to a car. Nott never claims that he’s spoken to aliens, just that “all I know is I’ve had a number of very strange experiences.” You can have a strange experience too, by deciding whether or not Nott and the other folk in New South Wales, Australia are really seeing visiting aliens.
Sirius pulls you in with the promise of a six-inch alien corpse, but leaves with the paranoid rhetoric of Steven Greer, a buffed up ufologist who says that the real story isn’t the fact that there are aliens, but rather that a shadow government has been denying us alien technology. We would have a better civilization if we employed the “energy and propulsion systems” of UFOs, the film argues, and live in a world of “free energy” and “interplanetary capabilities.” Interplanetary capabilities would be dope, that’s true, but we need more screen time for this tiny alien before being sold on an energy-depriving New World Order.
Bonus: Unsealed: Alien Files and UFOs: The Best Evidence Ever (Caught on Tape)
Didn’t get enough with those five? Netflix also happens to have not one but two available series that explore the topic further. The higher rate of the two, Unsealed: Alien Files, has four seasons for you to delve into. If you get through that and still want more, there’s the spectacularly titled UFOs: The Best Evidence Ever (Caught on Tape) narrated by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes.
Editor’s Note: This article is updated to reflect the ever-changing selection on Netflix.